Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown

Armenian cucumber

Armenian cucumber

It’s often challenging  for those of us living in hot climates to get truly excited about summer in the garden.

It’s often a time of triage and heartbreak.

Production slows down and almost stops, while pest and pathogen problems ramp up and seem never-ending.

This is the time when a lot of vegetable gardeners in hot climates pull up anything that doesn’t show a will to live or meet them halfway.

It’s when we dream of  and start planning (and even planting) the fall and winter gardens.

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Tarte Tatin by Chef Jacques Pépin

May 19, 2016

This famous upside-down apple tart starts with caramelized apples, studded with almonds and bits of chewy apricots, and topped with a flaky, buttery crust. Inverted, this dessert makes an impressive—and mouthwatering—presentation.

Recipe: Tomato Salad with Watermelon, Toasted Cashews, Chèvre, and Lemon-Agave Vinaigrette

August 27, 2015

A delicious and healthy salad for one using the explosive flavors of summer on one plate. It comes from the creative mind of Chef Stephane Beaucamp.

Recipe: Pico de Gallo

July 3, 2015

Cindy Haenel, a chef instructor at Central Market Cooking School in Austin, Texas teaches the school's Knife Skills 101 course. She says her recipe for Pico De Gallo will give you plenty of practice using this most important kitchen tool.

Tips for Growing Homegrown Tomatoes

April 9, 2015

If you are a fan of tomatoes--the most popular food crop in the home garden, then you ought to grow them at least once so you can know firsthand the joy of an honest, fresh, ripe tomato.

Seasonal Sipping

October 10, 2014

Fresh fruit juices on their own are tasty, but in the hands of The Tipsy Texan, David Alan, they are sublime, and often fortified with alcohol -- but sometimes not.

Compost Happens

September 14, 2014

You can easily recreate in your backyard what nature does, well, naturally. By collecting a sufficient volume of organic matter, mixing it together in the proper ratios, and maintaining ample aeration and hydration, you will end up with humus. And humus is absolutely essential to the health of plants and people. It provides nutrition to plant life and plants provide us with, well, everything.

B.J. Thomas’ Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

September 20, 2013

It’s a good thing B. J. Thomas doesn’t keep his musical trophies in the kitchen because there’d be no room for food.

Prodigious Peppers

August 8, 2012

Throw a party for your pie hole with peerless peppers passionately propagated with your own precious paws. Power to the peppers!

Lamb Chops with Zucchini Bake

August 27, 2011

The standard American approach to cooking is to come up with dinner plans and then shop for the ingredients. Buying local takes more creativity. You need to look at what's available at the market and then plan your menu accordingly.

Irrigating the Garden

April 30, 2011

The site of lush green lawns and luxuriant flower borders have been known to take one’s breath away. Yet if the caretakers of such pastoral scenes are not wise in the ways of watering, the amount of water used to maintain them can cause you to gasp for breath.